Tuesday, March 12, 2013

3064 shekel - This is how much the average Charedi family will lose under the new government

This number appears as a big headline on the front page of yesterday's (Tuesday 3/11) Mishpacha newspaper. Here is how they came to these numbers:

I. Income Assumptions

Family Status

Married couple with 6 kids


The husband/father learns in kollel  and receives a stipend of 1800 shekel
The wife/mother works as a teacher/ganenet - 3400 shekel a month
Other income - Night Kollel/Friday kollel - 400 shekel a month
Total Income: 5600 shekel a month

Government benefits Received

Child payments - 1592 shekel
Arnona (property tax) reduction - 90%
Guaranteed Income 
Private Elementary Schools - 55% - 75% government support Yeshiva Ketana - 850 shekel ~ 1450 shekel a month

II. What will be Cut

Child payments - 542 shekel reduction
Arnona reduction - 0% (no reduction)
Education - No government money, reduction of 1450 shekel
Kollel Stipend - no more

III. How will this be implemented?

There are 2 basic policy shifts which will happen to cause all of the above to happen.
1. Currently, government benefits are income based per number of heads in the household. Therefore, Charedim qualify because they have low incomes plus large families. However, the government is now going to introduce another criterion into the mix. To get low income government benefits you will have to prove that you have tried to go out and make a living, what they call in Hebrew מיצוי כושר השתכרות. In other words, if you don't work, or try to find work, you don't get government money.
2. No funding of schools that don't teach the core curriculum. Today these schools get between 55%-75% funding, depending on what they teach  Now it will be all or nothing, if the full core curriculum isn't taught the government will provide no funding.


I have to say that I believe that these are good and needed reforms. If you are poor by choice then that is your choice and no one else should be forced to support you. Regarding school funding, the fact is that just about everywhere else in the world there is a mandatory curriculum that every school (public, Catholic, Charedi, etc.) must follow. Therefore, it is perfectly legitimate for the State of Israel to impose these requirements as well. Somehow the Charedim in NY and Manchester and Antwerp, and everywhere else outside of Israel manage to live with that.

If these changes take place they will force the Charedi world in Israel to rethink Torah only, there is no way that the Charedi world as it is constituted today can survive these kind of cuts.


Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

The problem is that one of the foundation stones of Chareidi culture is the manipulation of the State of Israel's coffers to fund the community without incurring any reciprocal obligations. I mean, any Chareidi who thinks well of the State or feels an obligation to be a useful part of it harms his Chareidi status, that's how fundamental it is.
So now the State unilaterally decides: no reciprocation means no money. This is like yanking out the largest foundation stone of a tottering house. The whole thing might collapse.

Mark said...

Luckily an able-bodied man who works can earn more than that. So, overall, once the men start working, their families will be better off B"H.

bluke said...

Really??? With no secular education and no marketable skills how much money can a person really make?

dlz said...

Of the alleged 1800 shekel Kollel stipend, only about 800 shekel is from the government - the rest is from donations.

bluke said...

I believe it is 850 from the government. In any case so what?

Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

>With no secular education and no marketable skills how much money can a person really make?

I dunno. How much does a guy working construction make? Think about it, all those low-skill jobs currently going to a certain minority could be going to Chareidim. Construction crews are all male and if they're unionized they'll have plenty of breaks for learning and davening.

Mark said...

Yes, even jobs with almost no education or skills can easily earn NIS 3000. Movers earn more than that. Plumbers assistants. Unskilled construction workers. Fruit pickers. Etc.

And, no doubt, the next generation will acquire some useful education to allow themselves to move up in the world.

Chana said...

Construction isn't a low-skilled job. But if you have a little mechanical aptitude, you can learn over time.

bluke said...


What is your point? A family of 6 kids will be very poor if the father has a minimum wage type job. There is a fundamental issue in the Charedi/Orthodox world, large families are not really supported in Western economies. When you add on the lack of education the situation is dire.

bluke said...

Garnel, I agree with you 100%. I posted about this a long time ago (The Charedi view of the government and money that the Charedi world looks at the government as a cash machine.

amyrpk said...

The obsession with skilled/unskilled cracks me up. Looking at my husband: He came here with a PhD and decades of experience both in the lab and as a teacher at both college and high school levels. But because he made aliyah in his 50s, he has gone begging for work. He gets occasional day work in the local shuk, moving boxes of fruit.

When he even went to the Misrad ha'Kninukh to have his teaching licenses accepted and to sign up for the required courses, they turned him down, saying, "When we put some effort into training, we hope to get a few more years back in return than you'll be able to give."

Yeah, after he screamed and yelled and threw a full-scale Israeli-style fit, they took him, but by the time it's done, who's going to hire him? Now he's 60.

My point is, ranting about this, that, or the other generalization with little soundbites, as this discussion has been doing, is useless. Because the reality of individual people is what we're deaing with. And there are plenty of Chareidim who can work and do work, and there are plenty of nonreligious organizations that also look at the gov't as a cash machine.

And no, my husband and I are not Khareidi.

bluke said...


Sorry to disappoint you but your husband couldn't find a job for a simple reason - Age - there is a lot of age discrimination (in Israel as well as the US)

Your specific situation has little or nothing to do with the current situation with the Charedim. If your husband had made aliya at the age of 30 with a PhD I don't think he would have had such a hard time finding a job (depending of course what his PhD is in).